JC Penney Struggles Continue

Middle American shoppers have spoken loud and clear: don’t force fancy merchandise down our throats! Sales at the woebegone retailer JCPenney continued their decline last quarter, falling 11.9 percent from the year before. This was the first quarter for CEO Myron Ullman, who was brought back after former Apple executive Ron Johnson’s disastrous effort to eliminate discounts and take the chain upscale. Beset by internal board bickering and constant turnover in the executive suite, JCPenney’s travails seem to have no end. The company was able to point to a couple of bright spots: it will have a cash pile of $1.5 billion at the end of the year, and online sales seemed to have stopped their precipitous fall.